The vegan diet, meaning no meat, no fish, and no dairy, is often associated with starving hippies who live off of twigs, berries, and soy products. Local chef and vegan enthusiast Meagan Holtgrewe hopes to bust through these myths in her new cooking show, Rhymes with Vegan.
The pilot episode holds its own against any programming found on the Food Network, complete with veggie chopping scene cuts, explanations of potentially confusing ingredients artfully written on a brown bag, and the ever–popular party montage at the end. Though the pilot is a tad seasonally off (menu items include grilled seitan and tofu kabobs with spicy chipotle BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes with chives and sour cream, and edamame with toasted sesame seeds), the following episodes promise to feature the hearty, savory items vegans and non–vegans alike crave during the colder months (a special Thanksgiving episode has been filmed).
Show host Meagan Holtgrewe hopes to open minds on vegan eating as well as address some of the misconceptions commonly held about the vegan lifestyle, making veganism approachable. She states: "I want to break down those barriers that lead people to believe that as a vegan you are being deprived. In reality, it’s absolutely not true. In fact, it opens up your palate to so many more flavors because meat and dairy are no longer the center of your meal."
Sponsored by the Animal Rights Coalition (ARC), the show will debut at a free wine and appetizer reception 5 p.m. Friday, November 21 at 2615 E. Franklin Ave. The first episode of Rhymes with Vegan will be available online after November 21, with monthly installations to follow. For more information, check out the show’s blog at www.rhymeswithvegan.com.